Mary Bussmann, a nearly decade-long veteran of Palo Alto schools, will be principal of Walter Hays Elementary School starting July 1, according to a press release from Assistant Superintendent Scott Bowers.
Bussmann will replace Carol Piraino, who is leaving to become principal of Corte Madera School, a middle school in Portola Valley, according to Superintendent Kevin Skelly.
He praised Bussmann's familiarity with Walter Hays and said a committee of school staff and parents found her the top candidate in interviews.
"She has a long connection with ... the Hays community. She was a parent there. She did her student teaching there," he said.
The release from Bowers emphasized Bussmann's "love for children, knowledge of the curriculum, and collaborative leadership approach."
Bussmann began teaching in Palo Alto in 1999 at Walter Hays, moving to Ohlone Elementary School for the following six years. She became assistant principal of JLS Middle School in 2005.
Bussmann earned a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Boston College and holds a teaching credential from Notre Dame de Namur University, as well as a master's degree in education administration from Santa Clara University.
Bussmann lives with her family in Portola Valley.